Abortion rights and the predictability of Winking, Blinkin and Nod.

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(Sorry about the title spelling error this morning)

If the weekend rains and flooding weren’t sufficient to induce suicidal depression, a brief glance at Sunday’s Courier-Journal provided much encouragement to begin drinking at a reasonable hour – say, breakfast.

A Michael Kinsley column traced the origins of the Bush regime’s Orwellian “victory” chants in Iraq, while a news story reported findings strongly suggesting that the Iraq invasion has helped to expand terrorist recruitment, which makes thinking people wonder whether the current vogue of advocacy for meting out similar punishment to Iran is going to be accomplished by robots, a return to the draft or the employment of our second-favorite bogeymen (illegal aliens) as Hessians of the moment?

There was the Reverend James Dobson’s DC conference urging America’s tax-exempt churches to “get involved” with politics – presumably not affairs of the agnostic or secular variety, but ways to make those of us resistant to rampant superstition march instead to the beat of the Christian drummer.

By the way, why does the Tribune insist on running this man’s family advice column?

Which brings us to the most disconcerting article of all, a front page piece examining the frantic efforts of not one, not two, but three candidates for Indiana’s Ninth Congressional District seat to take the most stridently “pro-life” (I use the term loosely on purpose, the better to promote thoughts on how one proposes to protect life by slaughtering Iraqis, Iranians or, for that matter, Lebanese) position as a prelude to the November election.

On the surface, Democratic challenger Baron Hill’s espousal of a legislative alternative to abortion, one that would increase educational efforts and make birth control more widely available to those most in need of it, seems fairly sensible, particularly since it has been attacked with characteristic haughtiness by the incumbent, Mike “Big Wheels – Small Mind” Sodrel, whose “GOP as friendly Uncle Torquemada” anti-abortion campaign platform is sufficiently repugnant to make most other competing ideas seem tame.

Sorry, but in Hill’s typically leaden hands, the seemingly sensible is quickly transformed into the usual pandering and anti-abortion demagoguery by another name, all part of an ongoing effort to flail the centrist blue dog until it yelps in agony, sensing its increasing proximity to the general vicinity of Karl Rove and the other Republican haywire theocrats stroking Dick Cheney’s pacemaker as they confuse the Constitution with the Bible, Haliburton contacts, or both.

While the presence of Libertarian academic Eric Schansberg in the congressional race has been refreshing, and he’s shown a fine aptitude for the disruptive planks of the customary third-party playbook, his abortion position reflects an inability to escape the limitations of personal Christian fundamentalism – with predictable future consequences for women. However, with the shared monoploly of our two-party system stacked against him, Dr. Schansberg has no chance of winning.

Independent voters might well find a greater range of choice on outdated Politburo electoral lists than that to be seen among these three candidates for Congress.

Meanwhile, as the Northrup/McConnell machine commences the predictable sliming of John Yarmuth over on the Louisville side of the flood plain, we’re left to ruminate on the fate of political candidates who’ve made the mistake of thinking aloud — or in Yarmuth’s case, ruminating in print over a long period of time.

Politics as a graveyard for ideas? Sounds consummately American to me.

Wonder what the Bubbas are, uh, “thinking”?

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